There's Gnome mistake in Big Pitch final

Published: 9 May 2014 at 10:44

Computer game wins £10k prize in Anglia Ruskin student business competition

Students Ross Nicholas and James Gooch are celebrating after winning £10,000 in a student business competition to help develop their “Gnome-Nonsense” computer game.

Ross and James claimed the first prize in last night’s Big Pitch final at Anglia Ruskin University’s Cambridge campus.  The Big Pitch is an innovative, university-wide business idea competition run by the Centre for Enterprise Development and Research (CEDAR), based within Anglia Ruskin’s Lord Ashcroft International Business School.

The Big Pitch is open to all current Anglia Ruskin students, both undergraduate and postgraduate, who have a bold and innovative business idea.  The first round of the competition involved entrants uploading a one-minute video explaining their idea.  The top 25 were then invited to an enterprise bootcamp before the final six pitched their ideas to the judges last night.

Overall winner Gnome-Nonsense is a fun and challenging computer game made for Facebook and mobile devices.  The game consists of destroying oncoming waves of gnomes before they reach your tree house

Co-developer Ross Nicholas said:

“The Big Pitch has given us the opportunity to start our indie games company, Arc Interactive Studios, with our launching game Gnome-Nonsense.  We would like to thank everyone who has been involved in the Big Pitch, our lecturers, game testers and family, and hopefully this will lead to future success.”

Second prize, and a cheque for £5,000 went to Jelena Noya for her idea for an interactive children’s e-book, while Taisiya Kostenko finished third and went home with £3,000, after pitching Whole Pleasure, a “guilt-free” ice cream made from natural ingredients.

Taisiya Kostenko said:

“It was an amazing feeling to reach the final, and even better to become one of the winners.  The Big Pitch provides you with that initial push and support to help you develop your idea into a viable business proposition.
“I believe every student who has an idea should enter, as it is a fantastic learning experience and a great way to test yourself.  I can’t wait to start selling my ice cream to customers.”

In addition to the cash prizes, the three winning teams also receive 12 months’ free office space at the Anglia Ruskin StartupLab, 12 months’ free business banking with Barclays, a legal advice workshop from Mills and Reeve, a financial planning workshop from Peters Elworthy & Moore, and monthly mentoring support from CEDAR.

Last night’s judging panel was chaired by Walter Herriot OBE, and also included Peter Taylor (CEO of TTP Group plc), Rebecca Porter (Assistant Director of VAT at Peters Elworthy & Moore), Dona Ardeman (Senior Solicitor at Mills & Reeve) and Valentine Osagie (Business Development Manager at Barclays Bank).

Professor Lester Lloyd-Reason, Director of CEDAR, said:

“Now in its fourth year, the quality of the finalists just seems to get better and better.  It was a fantastic evening and a great showcase from the entrepreneurial students here at the Anglia Ruskin University.”

Rebecca Porter, from Peters Elworthy & Moore, said:

“I was very excited to be one of the judges for this year’s competition.  It’s wonderful to have such enthusiastic students ready to take on the business world with innovative ideas and genuine passion for what they are doing.”